"12 Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the Lord their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the Lord their God had sent him. And the people feared the Lord. 13 Then Haggai, the messenger of the Lord, spoke to the people with the Lord's message, “I am with you, declares the Lord.” 14 And the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people. And they came and worked on the house of the Lord of hosts, their God, 15 on the twenty-fourth day of the month, in the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king."
In 12 we see that there was one national leader that 'got the message'. The date in 15 indicates that in the space of little more than three short weeks a complete transformation took place. The message of the prophets was heeded and obeyed, not only by the leaders, but by the people themselves, and the work of rebuilding was begun once again. This is a measure of the power of the word of the Lord in the situation, and underlines the desperate need in our own time for an authentic and authoritative word to be spoken by the Church to our day and generation. The tragedy is that the Church is so preoccupied with the dread asbestos of 'other things' that there is little prospect of any fire kindling. The present crisis that faces our own denomination at this time can have a good deal of light thrown on it by these verses, for they bear witness to the fact that it is obedience to the word of the Lord, when He summons us to consider our ways, that brings back His presence into the midst. If this book has anything to say to us today, it is that there is nothing in our present parlous situation that a living God in the midst cannot deal with, and sort out. The message is: Wanted - a people prepared to obey God. When He has that, He has a bridgehead in the world.